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Fort Worth School Adopts Online Classes

Courses connect Trinity Valley School with students around the world

By Andrew Tanielian
|  Monday, Oct 1, 2012  |  Updated 6:46 PM CDT
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Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth is expanding the kinds of courses students can take by offering online courses.

Andrew Tanielian, NBC 5 Reporter

Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth is expanding the kinds of courses students can take by offering online courses.

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Students at Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth are doing something they've never done before -- taking classes online.

The school had one student test drive the online program, the VHS Collaborative, last year and now has 26 students taking classes taught by teachers around the country.

Three Trinity Valley School teachers also teach three of the more than 400 courses available worldwide.

Virtual classmates can also include people from around the world.

"It's a great experience that I will definitely take with me into the working world," said senior Michael Johns, who is studying business and hopes to get a master's of business administration degree.

He's taking a course about investing in the stock market that the school doesn't offer, but that puts him ahead in his studies.

"I'm currently enrolled in Advanced Placement economics," Johns said. "Getting to take that course alongside this investing course -- the two really pair well together, so the theories that I learn in economics transfer over nicely to the investing class online."

The VHS Collaborative, a nonprofit, is essentially a virtual high school that any high school can pay membership into.

Schools typically join for one of two reasons -- to offer courses that they can't provide in the classroom or to offer an alternative way to take a popular course that tends to fill up fast.

Catherine Viola, who is taking AP statistics this semester, said she finds it more interesting online because her classmates offer different perspectives because they are from Brazil.

"It's really interesting to be in a class with so many people that I've never met, but still feel very, very connected and very easy to talk to a lot of people even though I don't see their faces every day," she said.

As of now, 29 middle and high schools across 12 states and India are integrating VHS online learning into their schools.

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